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Up to $25M is available from Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity to support research that focuses on prevention, early-intervention and treatment of mental illness across the life span.
The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Million Minds Mission grant opportunity will support multidisciplinary teams of researchers to undertake collaborative, patient-focussed research that is transformative, scalable and demonstrates the greatest improvement on health outcomes and translation into policy and/or practice.
This grant opportunity is part of the MRFF Million Minds Mission (the Mission), which was announced in the context of the 2018 Budget. It is part of the Australian Government Department of Health Portfolio Budget Statement Outcome 1 – Health System Policy, Design and Innovation.
The Mission will support priorities under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan through innovative, system-based research that addresses key national and health priorities and ensure mental health research is translated into practice, giving all Australians access to better mental health care.
The Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity aims to support multidisciplinary teams of researchers to undertake collaborative, intervention-focussed research that is transformative, scalable and demonstrates the greatest impact on health outcomes and translation into policy and/or practice.
The specific objectives of the Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity are to:
- support innovative, high quality, collaborative research that focuses on prevention, early-intervention and treatment of mental illness across the life span
- promote effective translation of research into health policy and/or practice
- foster and build research capacity and workforce capability
- actively involve people with lived experience of mental illness in all aspects of the research pathway as part of genuine co-design and co-delivery
- leverage collaborations between research teams, policy makers, healthcare funders and the health delivery sector (e.g. education, community, industry and/or healthcare).
The Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity will provide up to $25 million over five years to support three initial priority areas for research:
- eating disorders
- mental health of children and young people
- mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The maximum amount of funding that can be requested for each Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity grant is $5 million.
$5 million will be available to fund the top-ranked application/s in each priority area at a total of up to $15 million.
You are required to nominate the priority area they are applying to. It is acknowledged that there may be some overlap of focus between priority areas. Proposals should be submitted to the priority area that relates to the primary focus of the proposed research.
The Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity grant money can only be spent on eligible expenditure incurred on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant proposal. The following categories must be used in the proposed budget:
- personnel (personnel support packages)
- other Direct Research Costs (DRCs).
Rules apply to each category of expenditure. You are required to justify the budget requested for each year of the proposed research in order to demonstrate value for money. Poorly justified items may be reduced or removed from the budget.
Applications for the MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity will only be accepted from NHMRC approved Administering Institutions. A list of NHMRC approved Administering Institutions is available on NHMRC’s website.
In addition to being, or having an affiliation with an Administering Institution, to be eligible for a grant under the MRFF Act an organisation must be one of the following bodies:
- a medical research institute
- a university
- a corporate Commonwealth entity
- a corporation
- a state or territory government, or
- a state or territory government entity.
How to Get the Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity
Based on Bulletpoint’s assessment of the grant criteria, these are the areas you need to focus on:
Generating new knowledge (30%)
- Relevance – direct relevance of proposed research to the scope of the priority area
- Strength – the appropriateness and robustness of the proposed methodology(ies)
- Likelihood – feasibility of the proposed research
- Innovation – transformative research design that is scalable, innovative or pioneering on an international level
- Knowledge – likelihood that significant new findings will be produced and substantially advance knowledge in the field
- Engagement – meaningful involvement of research end-users, health care providers and policy makers in all stages of the research project
- Inclusion – applicability of the proposed research to advancing the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Reporting – inclusion of appropriate milestones, performance indicators and timeframes
Translating research (30%)
- Relevance – justification of potential to influence health policy and practice
- Quality – quality of the plan for research translation
- Uptake – engagement with the health delivery sector
- Engagement – involvement of end-users and the wider community in the co-design of all stages of the research program
- Partnerships – strength of the role of collaborative partners and effectiveness of working collaborations and intellectual exchange
- Competence – relevant experience in translating research to those with a lived experience in the relevant priority area.
Strengthening the workforce (20%)
- Growth – strategy to generate new researcher capability, mentoring and encouragement of further career development
- Education – opportunities to advance the training of the workforce, including peer researchers
- Capacity – build and support the capacity of the sector to undertake patient-focussed research in the priority areas
- Measurement – clarity of measures for integrating new capability into mental health research.
Team capability and diversity – (20%)
- Track Record – previous research experience of the Chief Investigator
- Ability – the team has the appropriate mix of research skills and experience
- Suitability – calibre of the team to undertake the research
- Approach – whether the team can solve the research question while building workforce capacity
- Status – contributions to the research field nationally and internationally
- Impact – demonstrated productivity and impact on health outcomes including influence on policy and/or practice
- Skills Mix – appropriate mix of research skills and experience to successfully undertake this grant activity and within the required timeframe.
Applications close 20 February 2019.
Need help with your Application?
Call 1300 658 508
- Million Minds Mission – Approved Administering Institutions
- Million Minds Mission – Category Descriptors
- Million Minds Mission – Guidelines
- Million Minds Mission – Addenda
- Million Minds Mission – Application Form
FAQ – 1: MRFF Million Minds Mission grant opportunities vs NHMRC grant opportunities
What makes the MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity different from NHMRC schemes and will the peer review process remain the same?
The MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity is a separate funding call designed and implemented in consultation with the MRFF Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel and the Department of Health. It is being administered by NHMRC on behalf of the Department of Health, leveraging NHMRC’s well-established application and peer review process and online granting system. However, this grant opportunity is funded through the Medical Research Future Fund and subject to the legislated requirements under the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 (Cth).
The peer review process is outlined in the 2018 MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Guidelines available on GrantConnect at: https://www.grants.gov.au/
FAQ – 2: Disbursement of funds via NHMRC grant opportunities
I have submitted a grant application to the recently closed NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence grant round in which I ticked a box saying that I wanted my application to be considered under the MRFF Million Minds Mission. Do I need to apply to this grant opportunity too if I want to be funded?
Yes, this MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity is a separate, standalone call under the MRFF Million Minds Mission with specific objectives and assessment criteria and aims to award grants this financial year.
Applications to NHMRC schemes that have opted-in to be considered under the Mission will not be considered under this grant opportunity unless they apply for it separately.
The recently closed NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence scheme, as well as NHMRC Ideas and Synergy grant guidelines, include references to the MRFF Million Minds Mission should additional funding from the Mission be available to fund recipients in those schemes for funding commencing in 2020. It will be at the discretion of the MRFF Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel to determine whether to utilise this mechanism of funding and to consider whether meritorious application(s) in those schemes that align to the objectives of the Mission receive funding.
FAQ – 3: Future MRFF Million Minds Mission grant opportunities
Will all MRFF Million Minds Mission grant opportunities be the same?
Subsequent grant opportunities under the Mission may vary. Future grant opportunities will be designed by the Department of Health, in consultation with the MRFF Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel and NHMRC, and guided by the MRFF Million Minds Mission Roadmap and the MRFF Funding Principles.
FAQ – 4: Scope FAQs
4.1 Priority area scope
Does each application need to address all dot points listed under Scope for each Priority Area, or focus on one?
As stated in the guidelines, the “research should primarily involve” the types of research activities listed under Scope. It is at the discretion of applicants to determine how best to interpret the guidelines in the context of their proposed research, taking into consideration the objectives and expected outcomes of the grant opportunity.
Applicants should refer to the MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity Category Descriptors when framing their application, as these will guide the review panel’s assessment of applications.
4.2 Scope clarification
Are the following within scope for the first MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity?
Yes, under Priority Area 2 – Mental Health of Children and Young People research on:
- Alcohol and substance abuse with an intervention focus is considered within
- Neurodevelopmental disorders with an intervention focus is considered within
FAQ – 5: Funding amount
What is the minimum funding allocation for grants and is there a cap on the size of grants?
There is no minimum amount and applications can apply for up to $5 million.
FAQ – 6: Funding duration
What duration of projects may be funded through this grant opportunity?
Funding will be available for projects of a duration of five years or less.
FAQ – 7: International researchers and research activities
7.1: International researchers
Can international participants apply for grant funding under the MRFF Million Minds Mission?
Research based entirely overseas is not supported by this grant opportunity. The Chief Investigator A should be an Australian citizen or permanent resident in Australia, and be based in Australia for the duration of the grant. However, the MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity promotes collaboration and international researchers are welcome to be listed on MRFF Million Minds Mission grant applications as CIB-CIJ.
7.2: Research activities conducted overseas
Am I able to conduct part or all of my research overseas if I am based in Australia under a Million Minds Mission grant? Can a proposal that includes overseas participants working with Australian teams be considered for funding?
In accordance with section 5.2 of the grant guidelines, research may be conducted overseas, “if the equipment/resources required for that component are not available in Australia and the component is critical to the successful completion of the proposed research.”
FAQ – 8: Assistance with preparation of applications
Will there be any assistance given to applicants in preparing applications?
It is up to applicants, in discussion with their Administering Institution’s Research Administration Office (RAO), to determine how best to interpret the grant guidelines based on their proposed research, the budget being requested to complete the research, and in consideration of the objectives and expected outcomes of the grant opportunity
(see also FAQ – 4).
Applicants should refer to the MRFF Million Minds Mission Category Descriptors as these will guide the panel’s assessment of applications.
For further guidance on the application process, please contact NHMRC’s Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983 (+61 2 6217 9451 for international callers) or by email: [email protected]
FAQ – 9: Minimum data requirements for this grant opportunity
Due to recent changes to minimum data requirements across NHMRC schemes, what impact does this have on minimum data requirements for this MRFF grant opportunity?
Minimum data for this grant opportunity remains as stated in the grant guidelines. The required data are the mandatory RGMS fields in the application sections named:
- A-RC Research Classification
- B-MM Million Minds
(Referred to as B-AI Application Information in section 8.2.3 of the 2018 MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Guidelines.)
FAQ – 10: Extensions
Are extensions available for applications for funding under the MRFF Million Minds Mission?
No, applications must be submitted to NHMRC by the closing date. Late applications will not be accepted, as specified in section 8.1 of the 2018 MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Guidelines.
FAQ – 11: Recommendations for funding
If the applications are going through the NHMRC peer review process, how will the MRFF Million Minds Mission determine the recommended applications for funding?
In this grant opportunity, which is for $25 million over five years, the top-ranked application/s in each priority area will receive a maximum of $5 million, to a total of $15 million. The Advisory Panel will recommend the allocation of the remaining $10 million by taking into consideration:
- quality of the applications as assessed by peer review
- the strength and number of applications in a given priority area
- overlap of the proposed research with applications at a higher rank, and
- availability of funding.
FAQ – 12: Selection of Advisory Panel members
How are Advisory Panel members selected and appointed?
The MRFF Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel members are selected and appointed by the Minister for Health.
FAQ – 13: Selection and approval of grants
Will the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) have input on the selection of preferred applications for funding?
The Australian Medical Advisory Board (AMRAB) is represented on the MRFF Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel, and will provide input and advice through this mechanism in making recommendations to the Minister for Health.
FAQ – 14: The ‘national interest’ test
Will Million Minds Mission applications be subject to the ‘national interest’ test?
No. This is a requirement of research being considered by the Australian Research Council, which has no role in the MRFF Million Minds Mission.
FAQ – 15: Ethics clearances
What clearances (i.e. ethics) are required for applicants?
The required clearances will be defined in the grant agreement. All personnel contributing to the grant activity should familiarise themselves with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the National Statement of the Ethical Conduct of Human Research, the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes and other relevant NHMRC policies concerning the conduct of research, and agree to conduct themselves in accordance with those policies (see section 8.2.8 of the 2018 MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Guidelines).
FAQ – 16: Dissemination of research outcomes
Will I need prior approval to publish articles based on research undertaken under a MRFF Million Minds Mission grant?
No. However, any publication arising from research conducted on an MRFF Million Minds Mission grant is subject to the NHMRC Open Access Policy, which can be found on the NHMRC website. Grantees will also be required to disseminate their research findings within twelve months of the completion of the grant activity, and ensure that the grant from the Medical Research Future Fund is properly acknowledged.
16.2 Intellectual property rights
Will I retain intellectual property rights for my research under a MRFF Million Minds Mission grant?
As described in section 11.1 of the 2018 MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Guidelines, if successful, Administering Institution/s must enter into a legally binding grant agreement with the Commonwealth.
For the purposes of the MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity, standard terms and conditions for Department of Health grants will apply. The Administering Institution will be required to indicate its acceptance of the grant agreement that outlines the grant activity, payment schedule and conditions including milestones and reporting. Any conditions related to intellectual property rights will be included in the grant agreement.
FAQ – 17: Complaints and appeals relating to the funding process
Is there an appeals process if I am unsatisfied with the outcome of the funding round?
Yes, as outlined in section 14.1 of the 2018 MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Guidelines.
If you would like to lodge a formal complaint about the NHMRC’s assessment process, you should do so via your Research Administration Office in writing within 28 days of the relevant decision or action. Each complaint should be directed to the NHMRC complaints team at [email protected]
If you do not agree with the way NHMRC has handled your complaint you may complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Phone (Toll free): 1300 362 072
FAQ – 18: Conflict of interest
How will conflict of interest be managed in the event that a member of the Advisory Panel is listed as a research team member on an application to this grant opportunity?
Standard NHMRC Conflict of Interest policies will apply at all stages of the peer review process for the MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant Opportunity. Specifically, the activities of the Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel will be conducted in accordance with the conflict of interest mitigation provisions outlined in the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017.